If you have ever thought about traveling abroad, the city of Cuenca Spain probably wasn’t even on your list.

But it should be!

When most people think of Spain, they think about Madrid, Barcelona, or even Pamplona. Lists of favorite destination cities in Spain never include Cuenca, but they should.

You're probably wondering why:

With a rich culture, plenty of history, a wide variety of art, history, and science museums, great restaurants, and architectural wonders, Cuenca Spain should be on every tourism list.

An aerial view of Cuenca Spain.
 This aerial view of Cuenca Spain makes it easy to see why it is such a special place. Image CC by 2.0, by M.Peinado, via Flickr

Cuenca Spain map showing proximity to Madrid
 Cuenca, Spain in relation to Madrid. Image CC0 via Google Maps, altered

They have a gentle economy, plenty of affordable places to stay overnight, and beautiful mountain views. We'll get to those architectural wonders shortly -- you don't want to miss them.

Cuenca won’t remain a secret for much longer as more and more people are discovering the hidden beauty of this mountain wonderland.

Although known for her monuments, the city of Cuenca Spain offers so much more. Discover the rich history, see the beauty, and enjoy a perfect vacation spot.

Immersing Yourself in the Culture of Cuenca Spain

You don’t need to learn Spanish to visit Cuenca, but knowing a few words, such as general greetings, is a good idea.

Because Cuenca is not a major tourist destination (yet), there will be fewer English-speaking people.

While most restaurants will have at least one staff person who speaks English, they won’t generally have menus printed in English.

Don't speak a word? No worries!

common Spanish phrases
A handy list of common Spanish phrases. Image aquaworld.com

You can try to learn the basics, it will help. But, download a translator application on your phone, or go old-school and carry a Spanish-to-English dictionary and you're set for a great trip!

To enjoy Cuenca Spain, you will also want to make sure that you have plenty of Euro on hand. The Euro is the standard currency of the European Union.

Spain is one of 19 countries that use the Euro.

Don’t fret if you run low on cash though, as many Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) accept VISA, Cirrus, Citibank, and American Express.

money coins and bills

 Travel Tip

A quick note on using ATMs.

If the ATM offers you the option to be charged in your home currency or Euros, select Euros.

The difference is who determines the exchange rate.

When you choose your home currency – the Spanish bank sets the exchange rate.

By selecting Euros, this shifts setting the exchange rate to your home bank, which will usually offer a better exchange rate.

There may be some exchange fees, but these should be comparable to the standard charge for using an ATM.

Airports generally have the worst exchange rates, so opt for the ATM.

Where to Find Great Food

There are over 170 restaurants in Cuenca Spain, so finding food that pleases both your palate and your wallet will not be a challenge.

The problem will be in deciding where and what to eat because you only have one belly and a limited amount of time.

Don't miss out on these!

Everyone will tell you that you must try the tapas.

The problem is that there is no real set definition of what tapas is.

A plate filled with tapas

There are many varieties of tapas. Image CC by 2.0, by, via Wikimedia Commons

Short and sweet – tapas are similar to appetizers in the United States. They are savory dishes, in small portions, often served a la carte. They may be finger foods, or you may need a fork.

There is no set recipe or food type. Tapas can be anything.

You will usually find them in bars and cafes. They may also be offered as side dishes while you wait on the main course, or as a snack in between meals.

Whatever they are, wherever you are, you must try them.

But one cannot live on tapas alone. Well, yes, you actually can. But if you want more out of your gastronomic excursion to Cuenca Spain, there is no shortage of local eateries.

Inexpensive Restaurants

If you are traveling on a budget, you still want the best food your money can buy.

While the overall cost of everything in Cuenca Spain is reasonable, hunting up good food on a bargain budget can be a difficult menu to fill.

Therefore, we organized our highlighted restaurants based on how easy they treat your wallet. But we could only highlight a small number of restaurants.

For a complete list, you will find a downloadable guide from the minute social travel site.

Trip Advisor also has an online search feature that allows you to set your preferences. The site provides a listing of restaurants that fit your specifications.

Sala Cinco CB

This restaurant has a Vegetarian-Friendly Spanish menu with both Vegan and Gluten Free Options. They are open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with pricing ranging from $6 to $15 USD.

You will find indoor and outdoor seating and full wheelchair accessibility. They also offer free Wi-Fi, so you can check in with the folks you left at home while you wait for your meal.

hamburguesa sala cinco
bar casa reyes

Bar Casa Reyes

With a combination of Mediterranean, Spanish, and bar cuisine, the Bar Casa Reyes has something for everyone.

They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, and drinks at a reasonable price. With free Wi-Fi, off-street parking, and outdoor seating, this is a favorite place for locals and visitors.

La Tentacion

As a cafeteria, La Tentacion received high marks from customers. Located near a ravine known for its unique sickle-shape on the Huecar river, the view is gorgeous.

They offer pastries, coffees, Spanish cuisine, and genuine Cuenca products. Pricing is in the $9 to $15 range for most main entrée menu items.

La Tentacion coffee
Café Hispano

Café Hispano

If you’re looking for a quaint pub that serves three meals a day with a great atmosphere, Café Hispano may be just the spot.

They offer international beer, mixed drinks, and specialty coffee drinks. They claim to have the best tapas, offer free Wi-Fi and are centrally located in Cuenca.


Although Bolas does offer a variety of foods, their cuisine is not rated nearly as well as the ice cream.

So, perhaps avoid the pizza and opt for a double scoop of your favorite frozen treat. They boast 100 percent handmade sweet treats with 60 flavors.

Full wheelchair accessibility is another plus for this small local eatery.

Bolas ice cream

Travel Tip

A quick reminder to call ahead for reservations. Many of the over 170 restaurants in and around Cuenca are in small buildings with limited seating.

Mid-Range Eateries

While traveling, it is important to stay within your budget. Although many people opt to skimp on their food choices, there are plenty of great eateries that provide excellent food at reasonable prices.

Most of these establishments accept an array of credit cards.

Consider calling ahead for reservations to avoid extended waiting times, as seating is limited in many restaurants.



Offering Spanish, Mediterranean, and European cuisine, this Vegetarian-friendly establishment is affordable.

They serve lunch and dinner, have gluten-free and vegan options, and are wheelchair accessible. Reservations are recommended, as seating is limiting.

Lauded as a "Cozy restaurant with exquisite cuisine" by one customer, this little restaurant should be on your list.

Romera Bistrot offers a vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free contemporary Mediterranean menu with moderate-to-high pricing.

They are wheelchair accessible and children are welcome, and the cyclist decor makes the atmosphere both exciting and familiar.

Romera Bistrot

Raff San


With modernized twists on traditional recipes, the Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine at Raff San Pedro is sure to please.

Pricing is in the moderate range, and they offer vegan and gluten-free options. Portion sizes are generous, and the menu abounds with contemporary-style meals.

Reservations are recommended for both lunch and dinner hours. There is nearby parking, wheelchair accessibility, and they have highchairs available for your little diners.

Located near the Tunnels of Alphonso, the Restaurante El Secreto isn't a very well-kept secret.

The menu offers a wide variety of Spanish cuisine that includes tapas, salads, meat, and seafood. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available, and they will cater to groups.

Open for dinner, and late nights, reservations are recommended. Pricing will range from $15 to $35 on most main course dishes.


El Secreto




Panoramic views make for a romantic atmosphere, but casual diners are also welcome. Reservations are recommended as this is a favorite steakhouse.

They are vegetarian-friendly and have gluten-free options. Meals combine European, Mediterranean, and Spanish cuisine.

Indoor and outdoor seating is available, highchairs are available if needed, and the building is wheelchair accessible.

The Asador Maria Morena is open for brunch, lunch, dinner, and late night guests.

High-End Formal Restaurants

These aren't going to break your wallet completely, but they will make a more significant dent. The food is lovely, the atmosphere romantic, and the views are spectacular.

You will want to make reservations at any of the high-end restaurants if they are on your list. Most of the restaurants listed in this price range accept a wide array of credit cards.



Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine top the menu at this romantic get-away. Vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free options make this an excellent selection for diet-conscious diners.

There is ample parking, wheelchair accessibility, and free wifi. The full bar rounds out a perfect date-night spot.

Restaurante Convento de San Pablo

Restaurante Convento de San Pablo

Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, the Restaurante Convento de San Pablo is a family-friendly eatery.

In addition to regular dining options, they also offer private dining. They have free off-street parking, free wifi, and are wheelchair accessible.


Figón del Huécar

Figón del Huécar is a family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve lunch, dinner, and offer late night dining for those romantic evenings on a beautiful terrace.

Located in a house that belonged to famed singer José Luis Perales, the ambiance is homey and offers spectacular views. The menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian options, served with a Castilian flair.


Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine top the menu at this romantic get-away. Vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free options make this an excellent selection for diet-conscious diners.

There is ample parking, wheelchair accessibility, and free wifi. The full bar rounds out a perfect date-night spot.

Restaurante Convento de San Pablo

Offering breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner, the Restaurante Convento de San Pablo is a family-friendly eatery.

In addition to regular dining options, they also offer private dining. They have free off-street parking, free wifi, and are wheelchair accessible.

Figón del Huécar

Figón del Huécar is a family-friendly restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. They serve lunch, dinner, and offer late night dining for those romantic evenings on a beautiful terrace.

Located in a house that belonged to famed singer José Luis Perales, the ambiance is homey and offers spectacular views. The menu includes gluten-free and vegetarian options, served with a Castilian flair.

This video has even more great locations for the foodie in you!

Low-Cost Places to Stay

While these digs won't cost you as much as a five-star hotel, you'll be pampered enough. The cost is low, but the level of amenities is high.

Many of the hotels in Cuenca Spain start as low as $30 USD for a simple single room with a community restroom. They can cost as much as $150 USD for a family-sized room that sleeps up to six people.

Many include a continental-style breakfast, free wifi, and 24-hour staffing to serve your needs.

Hotel LB Villa de Cuenca

The Hotel LB Villa de Cuenca is a modern hotel that is close to the train station just outside of central Cuenca and close to many of the sights.

Decorated in a simple black and white motif, the price includes air conditioning. Essential amenities are available in each room, including a minibar.

Hotel Leonor de Aquitania

Converted from an 18th-century townhouse, the Leonor de Aquitania offers old-world charm with new-world amenities.

Spectacular views are visible from balconies and terraces including the Huecar gorge, and the architecture of the city.

Hotel Alfonso VIII de Cuenca

The top floor terrace restaurant offers some of the best views in Cuenca. It is located close to main shopping areas and enjoys ready access to the road.

From its location between the gorges created by the rivers Júcar and Huécar, the Hotel Alfonso VIII de Cuenca is surrounded by beautiful countryside.

Middle Cost-Range Places to Stay

If you have a higher budget and want more than just a room with a view, there are a lot of mid-range places in Cuenca.

Here's what mid-range gets you in Cuenca, Spain:

Many are complete apartments with full kitchens, which can save a bundle on food costs.

Many list things to do in the local area including canoe and kayak rentals, hiking, and family activities. Most have internet or Wi-Fi access and air conditioning, but not all.

La Casita

de Cabrejas

La Casita

This hotel has an outdoor pool and is located on an estate with a vineyard. It is farther outside the city, but close enough for easy access to all the sights and activities.

The site boasts a library and communal sitting area designed for relaxing. The rustic decor gives each room a different "feel" and adds to the romantic nature of the facility.

If you want all the comforts of a large hotel with the quaintness of a rural, homey atmosphere, La Casita de Cabrejas might be the perfect place for you.


San Pedro

Apartaments in san pedro

This is a one bedroom apartment with a seating area, kitchen, and all the comforts of home.

It is right in the heart of Cuenca, which means many things are within walking distance from the private entrance.

With a low nightly rate, this affordable apartment would make a perfect couples' getaway.



Alizaque lodge

These are individual apartments with full kitchens, including microwaves and a fridge.

It is within walking distance of many sights and a barrage of nightlife locations. Spectacular views and proximity to Cuenca Castle make this a great location.

A short 15-minute drive will see guests enjoying a wide variety of outdoor activities including hiking, golf, horseback riding, and more.

Five-Star Accommodations

If you're in the market for five-star accommodations, there are plenty of those available too.

Many are apartments with all the amenities. Some are in town and close to everything, others just outside of town in a more rural setting.

Whatever your desire, you will find something.

Mirandoacuenca es

This 2-bedroom apartment is convenient to almost everything. With shared living quarters on the first floor, a spiral staircase leads to two upstairs bedrooms.

This facility is not wheelchair-friendly. The fully-equipped kitchen includes an oven.

This is also a perfect stopping point for families with gamers: A PS2 console and video games are included with the flatscreen TV for those rainy days or long evenings after attractions close.

There is bicycle rental available at the apartment. The central location is within walking distance of many sights, and less than one mile from the famed hanging houses.

Parador de Cuenca

The hanging houses of Cuenca are visible from this hotel. The building is a converted convent with an indoor patio area.

The on-site restaurant offers fine dining. The Parador de Cuenca is one of the top-rated hotels in the area.

Hotel Resort Cueva del Fraile

In a 16th century monastery, this hotel is a short drive from Cuenca.

There are an outdoor pool and onsite gardens, including a central courtyard area. The onsite restaurant serves Spanish cuisine.

Views of the surrounding countryside are spectacular.

Festivals to Fit into Your Schedule

While the area has many festivals throughout the year, the two largest are the San Mateo Festival and the Tapas Festival.

San Mateo Festival

(September 19, 2019)

san mateo festival

If you visit Cuenca Spain in the fall, you should try to catch the annual San Mateo Festival. Celebrated every year in September, the festival marks the history of the taking of the city by Alfonso VIII.

While the records are unsure, it is believed that the original festival was held in 1177 as a way for the king to reward his troops for their victory.

There are two major ceremonies associated with the festival:

The first is a solemn honorific of the victory when the transfer of the power was made official.

The rest of the festival, carried out by Royal Decree, consists of parades, dancing, concerts, fireworks, cultural activities, and competitions.



As we mentioned earlier, you must try the tapas when you visit Cuenca Spain.

Tapas are such a vital part of life that Cuenca has an annual street festival (see the video below) to celebrate them.

Vendors from local restaurants, bars, and cafes set up booths in the Parque de San Julian to offer their delicious tidbits to festival-goers.

As you wander through the square, the smells meld together to create a mouth-watering desire to try everything.

But dear and alas, you will be full-to-bursting after the third vendor you pass.

Not to fear, though, as the festival lasts for several nights. If you pace yourself, you might be able to taste everything.

We doubt it, but you sure can try.

Best Time of Year to Visit

Cuenca Spain enjoys four seasons and has roughly the same temperature gradients as the American Midwest.

There are two "best" seasons for planning a trip:

Both the Spring and Fall temperature ranges are very nice for traveling.

In the spring, from around the end of April until the end of June, Cuenca has average temperatures (Fahrenheit) ranging from the mid-50s to the mid-70s.


During April, lows can reach 40 degrees with highs averaging to 65 degrees.

In May, it warms slightly, from 48 degrees to around 73 degrees.

June gets warmer still as midsummer approaches, with temperatures ranging between 55 and 83 degrees F.

You're likely wondering about the fall:

In the fall, from the end of August until the end of October, temperatures begin falling in anticipation of the cold winter months.

August temperatures range from 65 to 90 degrees F.

In September they drop slightly, averaging between 55 and 80 degrees F.

By October, lows can reach 45 degrees and highs remain in the low 70-degree range.

But, those aren't the only times!:

For most visitors, temperatures year-round are mild enough to have a pleasant visit even in the coldest part of the year.

Variations in humidity, elevations, and other factors will always make some days better than others.

If winter is the only time you have a vacation from work, don't let a little cold stop you from exploring Cuenca.

August is the hottest month on average, and January is the coldest. With a bit of planning, you can be comfortable all year.

Things You Probably Shouldn't Do

Anytime that you visit a new country, you should take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the customs and basic laws of that country. In Spain, they have a few differences in customs.

On and around the beach

warning sign

Bikinis are fashionable on the beach for swimming and sunbathing. But they are not permitted in areas off the beach.

Please remember to carry a coverup or robe with you to wear over your bikini to avoid receiving a hefty fine.

The Spanish authorities use a series of flags to advise swimmers of water conditions. Pay attention to which flags are flying on the beach when you arrive and act accordingly.

The flags warn swimmers of strong undercurrents and dangerous wave conditions, among other things.

Spanish Culture Pro-Tip:

While much of the world believes that Spain is all about bullfighting, they aren't. Bullfighting still happens, but there is so much more to do that you really won't miss anything if you skip the bull ring.

On meals, tipping, and slurping hot chocolate

In Spain, the main meal happens during what Americans would think of as the lunch period.

Most people eat their largest meal of the day between 1 PM and 4 PM. Dinner customarily is served after 8 PM.

Many people eat tapas for the evening meal after a lavish lunch in the afternoon.

Curious about tipping? Here's what you need to know:

If you are tempted to tip your taxi driver or waitstaff, be aware that they are not accustomed to the larger tips that are normal in the United States.


A standard tip for a taxi driver generally ranges between 50 cents and 70 cents USD. While you can always tip more, you are not expected to.

A standard tip for a taxi driver generally ranges between 50 cents and 70 cents USD. While you can always tip more, you are not expected to.

For waitstaff, the normal tip ranges from 7 to 10 percent of the bill, including drinks.

Please don't make the mistake of slurping down that mug of steaming hot chocolate.

It is thick, rich, and glorious -- but it is for dipping your crispy churros. So, dip away and crunch the chocolatey goodness, but please don't slurp.

Spanish Culture Pro-Tip:

As a general rule, you should avoid all discussions about religion.

Slow down, watch your step, and a few last tidbits

No one in Spain is in a hurry. While visiting, you should slow down too.

Enjoy the sights, relax, take it easy -- and watch your step. Apparently, puppy parents aren't diligent in all public areas, so be attentive to where you step, especially in parks and grassy areas.

If you drive -- please make sure that you have an International Driver's Permit.

 International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit will allow you to drive during your visit to Cuenca Spain. Image CC by 2.0, by, via Flickr

They are easy to get before your trip. At a minimal cost, it is worth the expense if you intend to rent a vehicle on your trip.

Carry cash in Euros. You don't need a lot, but you should have a variety of smaller bills, coins, and some larger bills.

If you do any shopping at street vendors, they don't always have a lot of change, and many do not accept credit cards.

Where Architecture Becomes Art

12th century architecture

Cuenca Spain dates back many centuries. The architecture in much of the city remains intact, some dating as far back as the 12th century.

Many of the buildings from the 16th through the 18th centuries are in use, although they now serve as hotels, museums, and restaurants.

This gives the city old-world charm and unsurpassed beauty.

San Pablo Convent is an example of the breathtaking architecture you will find in Cuenca Spain.
 San Pablo Convent is an example of the breathtaking architecture you will find in Cuenca Spain. Image CC by 3.0, by Y Anderson, via Wikimedia Commons[/caption]

After a visit to Cuenca in 1970, former director of the New York Museum of Modern Art, Alfred Barr, wrote:

“What you have done in Cuenca is surely one of the most admirable, indeed brilliant, works of art. A remarkable balance of painting, sculpture and architecture.”

For a community that spent much of its existence in turmoil, Cuenca Spain has been rejuvenated since the 1960s and 1970s.

They have made great strides toward becoming a showplace ripe with history and cultural diversity.

And you are going to absolutely love these structures:

The architecture behind the "hanging houses"

When the city of Cuenca was overgrowing with an expanding population, they ran out of land space because of the mountainous terrain.

To keep growing, they moved up and out. Architects developed a series of early skyscrapers, built as high as seven and eight stories.


Hanging Houses in Cuenca Spain -- image depicts a house built to hang over the cliffs on the edge of town
 A view of the "hanging houses" in Cuenca Spain. CC by 3.0, by Mario modesto, via Wikipedia

They were perched on the edges of the cliffs surrounding the city, giving the appearance of "hanging" off the cliffs.

While they were once a common sight, there is only one remaining structure of this type. Known as Las Casas Colgados, which translates to "The Hanging Houses."

The building currently houses the Cuenca Spanish Museum of Abstract Arts. There is also a restaurant located in the structure.

The old and the new -- the blending of two cities

The city is divided into two sections, the old and the new.

Because of the remote location, Cuenca was known as an artists' retreat, but not as a tourist destination.

At a short two hour drive from Madrid and now accessible by train, the popularity of this tiny mountain paradise is growing.

Exploring the outer city boundaries

The Hanging Houses are part of the oldest section of Cuenca Spain. They can be reached by walking up steep, cobble-stoned streets that connect the old city to the new.

The buildings in the old section are undergoing restoration to some degree, but remain a stark reminder that they were once nothing more than ordinary homes for average citizens.

It is worth the 15-minute trek to see these architectural wonders.

The "new" Cuenca

Building in the newer section of Cuenca began in the era following the conquest of the city by Alfonso VIII in 1177. The colorful buildings are typical of the era and offer a square and boxy appearance.

Plaza Mayor in Cuenca Spain -- image depicts the new section of the city frequently used for festivals
 Plaza Mayor in Cuenca Spain, part of the "new" Cuenca. Image CC by 4.0, by Tango7174, via Wikipedia

The Rich Art History of Cuenca Spain

Originally, the modern era of Cuenca Spain saw her as an artists retreat. Artists from around the world hid in her mountains to create amazing everything.

The city is full of museums and astonishing architecture that will leave you gasping in wonder. Described as a "medieval masterpiece" by Lonely Planet, everyone is sure to find something pleasing.

Spanish Museum of Abstract Art

The Spanish Museum of Abstract Art opened in 1966.

The Spanish Museum of Abstract Art is one attraction you don't want to miss on yur visit to Cuenca Spain.
 The Spanish Museum of Abstract Art is one attraction you don't want to miss on your visit to Cuenca Spain. Image CC by 2.0, by Tomás Fano, via Flickr[/caption]

It is currently located in the Las Casas Colgados and offers stunning views in addition to the beautiful art on display.

The museum displays hundreds of sculptures and paintings inside the 15th-century building. The museum is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Diocesan Museum

Much of the art contained in the Diocesan Museum belongs to the Cathedral.

There are a wide variety of tapestries, altarpieces, rugs, liturgical objects, and precious metalwork from churches around the region.

Diocesan Museum

Additionally, the museum, housed in the Episcopal Palace, displays paintings and items depicting centuries of religious and Spanish history.

Museo de Cuenca

With a heavy concentration on the pre-medieval age, the Museo de Cuenca (Museum of Cuenca) exhibits a lot of artifacts from nearby archaeological sites.

Museo de Cuenca

The museum also houses original Roman statues, of particular note is that of Emperor Augustus. Post-Renaissance history is nearly non-existent, but the museum is still worth the trip.

Museo de la Semana Santa

Museo de la Semana Santa

We couldn't improve on the description of this museum offered by Lonely Planet:

"This museum is the next best thing to experiencing one of Spain's most spine-tingling Semana Santa parades first­hand.

Spread over two floors, the hugely accomplished audiovisual show moves from room to room showing the processions by local brotherhoods against a background of sombre music.

Afterwards you are allowed to wander around at leisure, admiring the costumes, crosses and religious iconography."

FundaciĂłn Antonio PĂ©rez

Highlighting artists of the modern era, this museum is packed full of artwork from the 1950s and 1960s. Included are many pieces from artist Antonio Saura and two paintings from American artist Andy Warhol.

FundaciĂłn Antonio PĂ©rez

Located in the ex–Convento de las Carmelitas, visitors might feel like they are trapped in the Labyrinth of Knossos.

The Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzadas, which now displays modern art in Cuenca Spain.
The Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzadas, which now displays modern art in Cuenca Spain. Image CC by 3.0, by PMRMaeyaert, via Wikimedia Commons

The building is enormous and so packed it can be confusing but promises a rewarding experience overall.

Museo de PaleontologĂ­a

No museum adventure would be complete without dinosaurs.

Located in the former Ars Nature, the paleontology museum is kid-friendly, with an exhibition dedicated to the young tourists in your group or family.

Kids (and adults) will love the dinosaur exhibits at the Museo de PaleontologĂ­a.
Kids (and adults) will love the dinosaur exhibits at the Museo de PaleontologĂ­a. Image CC by 4.0, by PePeEfe, via Wikipedia

The museum contains a variety of locally obtained skeletons, fossils, and artifacts. The Jurassic era is well represented with huge replicas of prehistoric reptiles.

You shouldn't miss this!

The grounds and audiovisual exhibits are ripe for selfies and scrapbook photos to show off back home.

Staying Busy Is Not a Problem in Cuenca Spain

There is so much to see and do in Cuenca Spain that a day or two will not be enough time. Give up the ghost now and plan for a week or more.

You still won't see everything, but the reasonable economy will be gentle on your wallet.

Day trip tours

If all you have is a day to spend in Cuenca, it will be difficult to decide what sights to include.

If you can't decide, you can opt for a day trip tour through an agency. They will plan the trip, travel, and the sights.

The Cuenca & Enchanted City tour offered by Nattivus will give you a taste of the wonders of Cuenca without the hassle of having on your own.

Civitatis also offers a one-day trip from Madrid to Cuencas.


There is an ample selection of hiking opportunities in and around Cuenca, including trails and outdoor museums.

The audio for this video is in Spanish, but the visuals are well worth watching even if you don't speak the language:

Walking tours - guided

Cuenca Tours offers a variety of options, including customizable guided walking tours of Cuenca. If you want a good look at the area without getting sidetracked or suffering from an overwhelming number of choices, hire a local.

Walking tours - self-guided

Self-guided walking tours are just that -- you are the tour guide. You choose the destinations and the route.

With so much to see in Cuenca, be sure to leave yourself ample time to enjoy the sights, museums, architecture, and highlights you select for your tour.

Cathedrals, museums, and more

There are no words that can adequately describe the architectural beauty of Cuenca Spain:

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Getting Around in Cuenca Spain

Many travelers are enjoying the quiet mountain village and wondering how it has stayed a secret for so long.

As the city has continued growing, the popularity as a destination has increased proportionally.

Renting a car

If you have an International Driving Permit, you can rent a car in Madrid and drive the short 88 miles to Cuenca Spain.

The trip takes approximately two hours.

Having a vehicle affords the ability to stay outside of town at one of the beautiful rural hotels. Many establishments and tourist destinations have parking areas available or nearby.

Arriving in town by train

Cuenca Spain is fast becoming a favorite day and weekend travel destination.

With the Cuenca – Fernando Zóbel Railway Station, it is an easy trip from nearby Madrid.

Trains are a popular way to get to Cuenca Spain.
Trains are a popular way to get to Cuenca Spain. Image CC by 2.0, by André Marques, via Wikimedia Commons

A short 50-minute train ride by high-speed rail brings visitors in search of the rich history of the region.

Local buses

There are local buses in Cuenca that run a general circuit between the Plaza Mayor and the rail station. The buses run approximately every thirty minutes. The fees are reasonable, but you'll need Euros.

Taxi cabs

You might not find an Uber or Lyft in Cuenca Spain, but taxis are relatively easy to find. If you are unsure of how to hail a cab, ask. Many bars, cafes, and hotels will arrange taxis for their guests.

The rates will be relatively inexpensive in and around town, but be cautious about traveling too far outside the city limits without a clear understanding of the fare structure.

Walking for the sure footed and healthy visitor only

Many of the sights in and around Cuenca Spain are accessible on foot. If you are an avid walker, you will enjoy the stroll through both the old and new sections of the city.

Because the area is mountainous, many of the roads and pathways are not flat and level.

Travel Tip

Remember that small change we recommended earlier? It will be handy here. Both the bus driver and the taxi driver will appreciate the smaller denominations of currency and exact change.

Pro Tip

The elevation is also quite high, which may cause more labored breathing even with a seasoned walker. If you opt to tour on foot, be use caution not to overexert yourself.

Cuenca Spain

the Tiny Town Worth Visiting

Cuenca Spain is now on the map as one of the fastest-growing tourist destinations. It maintains its quaint appeal while offering all the glamor of the major cities in Spain.

You'll have to go to Pamplona for the running of the bulls, or Seville to catch a real bullfight.

However, if those aren't high on your list of must-see events, Cuenca Spain will allow you to immerse yourself in Spanish culture.

The museums, architecture, and sights will keep you busy. The pricing in the area is easy on your budget.

For the best vacation in Spain, we are sure that Cuenca will not disappoint you.

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